What’s the Difference Between an Idea and a Vision?

How many times have you heard of a new invention or business and thought to yourself, “I had nearly the same idea five years ago, darn it!” Ideas are wonderful, the product of imagination, creativity, even teamwork. But what sets an idea apart from a vision?

First and foremost, visionary people act on good ideas and usually succeed. But more on that later. Brainstorming techniques, including mind mapping, can generate lots of ideas. And in the past few decades, these techniques have led to some great creative thinking; they still work. With all of the opportunities in technology, plenty of visionary people have turned their ideas into reality and even financial success.

Goal, idea, vision, succesIdeas All Dressed Up and No Place To Go

But here is where ideas differ from vision: There are plenty of ideas out there. They often come to us when we try to accomplish a task at home and think to ourselves, “Having a (fill in the blank) would make this so much easier; I wonder if anyone has thought of that yet.” Or they might come during team meetings, when everyone is focused on the same goal or strategy. How often have you looked back at such a discussion, rich with ideas, and thought, “Did anyone ever act on that?”

Vision Moves Ideas From Paper to Action

People with vision can take an idea and transform it into action. But how? In most cases, they take time to picture the future, what transforming the idea to reality looks like in their minds. And then they develop a plan to move them toward the vision. Most importantly, they maintain focus. Let’s say someone else develops the same or a similar idea. That could cause a disruption to focus, but it should just lead to a reinforced or revised plan. “I’ll make ours better, faster, sleeker, more affordable.”

So the next time you or your team have an idea, convert the idea to reality with a powerful, focused vision and a plan of action to make it happen. Inevitably, setbacks occur, but nearly single-minded focus helps you and your team persist.

Success Factors, Inc. has the tools and talent to help you develop your vision and turn ideas into reality. Learn more about our Fast Track to Success program and other services by exploring our website or calling us at 425-485-3221.